May 20, 2022
Spotify app on phone

Spotify has announced it will suspend its streaming service in Russia as a result of the new media law passed in the country.

The audio streaming platform had already closed its Russian offices following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, calling it an “unprovoked attack”.

Legislation recently passed by Moscow puts serious pressure on media outlets and platforms such as Spotify that broadcast news, with any deviation from the Kremlin narrative over the attack on its neighbor being made illegal.

A number of outlets and platforms have already closed or suspended services in the country, and the move by Spotify follows in the footsteps of streaming rival Netflix, who temporarily shut down services due to a requirement to stream state-sponsored news channels.

“Spotify has continued to believe that it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information from the region,” Spotify said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalizing certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify’s employees and the possibility of even our listeners at risk.”

The suspension is expected to start in early April, with any resumption of services dependent on how the Russia-Ukraine conflict plays out.